Tag Archives: Discworld

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Overview
Sourcery | Sir Terry Pratchett

Title: Sourcery
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #5, Rincewind #3
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Easy reading, Fantasy
Dates read: 22nd July – 18th August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corgi
Year: 1988
5th sentence, 74th page: He just steals things.

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Synopsis

All this books and stuff, that isn’t what it should all be about. What we need is real wizardry.

There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we’d better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son… a wizard squared… a source of magic… a Sourcerer.

Unseen University has finally got what it wished for: the most powerful wizard on the disc. Which, unfortunately, could mean that the death of all wizardry is at hand. And that the world is going to end, depending on whom you listen to. Unless of course one inept wizard can take the University’s most precious artefact, the very embodiment of magic itself, and deliver it halfway across the disc to safety…

Thoughts

Whenever I pick up a book by Terry Pratchett, I know that I’m going to have a good time and be entertained. And Sourcery was no exception. I had such a great, fun, amazing journey throughout this story. One that I absolutely adored and would love to read again.

So far in the Discworld series, none of the stories have really finished on a cliff hanger. Instead, the story almost works as a standalone and lets you journey onwards to the next story in the series without any extra baggage. This novel didn’t quite work out like that. It just felt like there was so much more that was likely to happen to Rincewind – and I would love to know what the outcome of his latest misadventure will be. It was kind of fun finishing a Discworld story on a cliff hanger. Just different enough to leave me happy and content.

One of my favourite things about Pratchett is his amazing ability to build worlds. The fact that he’s doing so consistently throughout the Discworld series always leaves me feeling happy. In this novel, his world building is building on the rules of wizardry and sourcery. I love all of the completely obscure and odd rules that come about in this and the way that the rules of magick are completely unexpected and not what I would have thought of as logical at all. It was quite brilliant.

Throughout all of this novel, I read a lot of the more humorous passages to my husband. There is just something great about the flow of his writing and the style that not only made me laugh… a lot. But can be shared with somebody who just doesn’t quite like reading and books as much as I do… there is just such a great sense of humour and wit that I wish I could impart into my own written word…

<- MortWyrd Sisters ->

Image source: Sir Terry Pratchett

Mort by Terry Pratchett

Overview
Mort

Title: Mort
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #4, Death #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: ComedyEasy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corgi
Year: 1987
5th sentence, 74th page: And so Mort came at last to the river Ankh, greatest of rivers.

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Synopsis

Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.

Henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. It’s an offer Mort can’t refuse. As Death’s apprentice he’ll have free board, use of the company horse – and being dead isn’t compulsory. It’s a dream job – until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life…

Thoughts

Death is always considered such a horrifying and exacting end. But, in the case of Mort, it’s really just a beginning… and an apprenticeship. With Pratchett’s unique and entertaining take on it.

Alright, that introduction to this review feels very confusing and convoluted. But, honestly, that’s generally how I feel before, during and after reading one of the Discworld novels. They’re weird, they’re confusing, and they have a completely unique take on the world. Even when I feel like there may be a far better, more amazing message than what I’ve absorbed, I feel like I’ve learnt something interesting and fantastic after I turn the last page. The fact that this story is about the personification of Death, something that I have been struggling to deal with a little lately, just makes it all the more fun and poignant.

I loved the princess in distress with her noble rescuer theme throughout this. Yet, it was the fact that the ending wasn’t quite one that I expected that was really enjoyable. After all, the typical story would be tall, suave rescuer saves princess, they live happily ever after. Nothing goes like this throughout, and although Mort makes blunder after blunder in his apprenticeship, there is a really nice happily ever after (of a sorts) at the conclusion.

<- Equal RitesSourcery ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Overview
Equal Rites

Title: Equal Rites
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #3, Witches #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: ComedyEasy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corgi
Year: 1987
5th sentence, 74th page: Across the forest animals broke and scattered as the shadow passed overhead, crying and cursing.

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Synopsis

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the bab in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the batttle of the sexes begin…

Thoughts

There is an incredibly poignant and obvious message in this novel – that we are all equal and entitled to equal rights. That’s not to say that this tale isn’t filled with Pratchett’s (I hesitate to say) typical sense of humour. There is the satirical humour scattered throughout that draws you into his world, whether you want it to or not. Luckily, for me, I was ready and happy to be swept along in his chaotic, entertaining realm.

Esk is a typical little girl with six big brothers. She’s tough, independent and keen to prove herself against the big, wide world. The fact that she is partnered with a supremely magical and powerful wizard’s staff just helps to complicate things. That, and her mentor is a slightly uneducated witch. And there is no such thing as wizards in this world… when is anything ever simple in Discworld?

As I’ve mentioned before, I completely loved the fact that this book highlights women’s rights and equality. It is something that I strongly believe in, and although sometimes it is a topic touched upon, it isn’t something that people tend to really delve into when writing or reading. We talk about equality, but I haven’t actually read such a well written novel that highlights the importance of this. The fact that this story was written in the 80’s and is still discussing issues that we are facing today just heightens my respect for Terry Pratchett.

<- The Light FantasticMort ->

Image source: Pinterest

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Overview
The Light Fantastic

Title: The Light Fantastic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #2, Rincewind #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: ComedyEasy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corgi
Year: 1986
5th sentence, 74th page: Rincewind hurried forward to help, there was a fair amount of smoke, ash and confusion, and the shared triumph of actually rescuing a few pieces of rather charred bacon did more good than a whole book on diplomacy.

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Synopsis

‘What shall we do?’ said Twoflower.
‘Panic?’ said Rincewind hopefully. He always held that panic was the best means of survival.

As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld could do with a hero. What it doesn’t need is a singularly inept and cowardly wizard, still recovering from the trauma of falling off the edge of the world, or a well-meaning tourist and his luggage which has a mind (and legs) of its own. Which is a shame because that’s all there is…

Thoughts

The Colour of Magic ended with Rincewind falling off the edge of the earth. Which, with all of the flat earthers I keep hearing about lately just seems even more fitting and ironic… but anyway, it is one way in which to finish a novel. So, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the next book in the series. After all, where do you go after someone falls off the edge of the world? It turns out to The Light Fantastic.

This story is every bit as entertaining and funny as the first one, and it finishes this small story arc off perfectly. Personally, my favourite line is “Rincewind said, grinning like a necrophiliac in a morgue”. (I may not have got the grammar in this quote perfect though). It kind of sums up the entire story perfectly. Wrong, funny and with great descriptives that I have never thought of using in my own writing… sometimes because it is just this side of wrong. I also love the long, rambling sentences. As someone who has read many science papers with these kinds of convoluted bits of wording, I normally find them frustrating. But, somehow Pratchett is able to make them fun, engaging and poetic in a way that no other author or writer I have come across is able to do.

I really enjoyed Rincewind as the chief protagonist. He is completely inept, a total coward, and not quite capable of even being a real wizard. Yet, at the end of this tale, he is kind of able to find his own power and space. It reminds us that everyone has their own strength, and ignoring someone because they don’t fit your own idea of this is foolish, wrong, and kind of cruel. But that’s okay, because Rincewind proves them all wrong and ultimately saves the Disc…

<- The Colour of MagicEqual Rites ->

Image source: Waterstones

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Overview
The Colour of Magic

Title: The Colour of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #1, Rincewind #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: ComedyEasy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corgi
Year: 1983
5th sentence, 74th page: Is he that funny looking one over there?

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Synopsis

In the beginning there was… a turtle.

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Particularly as it’s carried though space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown). It plays by different rules.

But then, some things are the same everywhere. The Disc’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the world’s first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land. Unfortunately, the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard…

Thoughts

I have had The Colour of Magic in my bookshelf since Terry Pratchett passed away. After all, I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. As usual though, I was a little delayed with opening the actual book. However, I really wasn’t disappointed. This story was funny, entertaining and cute. It was incredibly fun and easy to read, and I was really sad when it was all over.

Rincewind’s journey through Discworld with Twoflower is a calamity of mistakes that just steadily gets worse and worse. Anything that can go wrong does, and although in most stories, I would just find this predictable, irritating and cringe-worthy – in Pratchett’s world, it’s just funny. Partly it feels like he’s just making fun at the more serious versions of fantasy and scifi novels. But, there’s also this ability for the storyline to completely suck you in. For me, a good book is one that you just can’t put down. And that was the case with The Colour of Magic.

Although I loved this book, there were no specific moments that jumped out at me. I remember the rough plotline, I remember the feeling of reading the book. But not so much the exact plotline. Nor, the poignant message in the words that I get in some storylines. But, that’s probably what I loved about this. It’s a happy go lucky, easy storyline. Something that I will be able to read again and again and enjoy each and every time.

<- More Terry PratchettThe Light Fantastic ->

Image source: Waterstones